Sam Bennett Remains with the Florida Panthers

Sam Bennett
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After a brutal ending in Calgary, he has found a fresh start in Sunrise, Florida. The Florida Panthers signed restricted free agent forward Sam Bennett to a  four-year contract worth $17.6 million with a salary-cap hit of $4.4 million.

Sam Bennett Signs With the Florida Panthers

The Calgary Flames drafted Sam Bennett with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Over his seven-year NHL career, Bennett has played for the Flames and now the Florida Panthers. He has put up 73 goals and 82 assists for 155 career points in 412 career games.

During this past season, Bennett was off to a prolonged start that never found its legs. Through his first 38 games of the season, he only scored four goals and eight assists for 12 total points. While adding 19 minutes in penalties. Yet, once he arrived in South Florida, someone flicked a switch. During his ten regular-season games in Florida, he scored six goals and nine assists for a total of 15 points. It was ultimately securing his spot not just on the Florida roster but in the NHL in general.

What This Means for the Future

To say that Sam Bennett has yet to live up to his draft position is as fair as it gets. Looking at previous fourth overall picks, Mitch Marner in 2015, Ryan Johansen in 2010, Evander Kane in 2009, Alex Pietrangelo in 2008. But then again, Bennett looks like a completely different person since his arrival to Florida. In comparison, he made an impact right away during the regular season. He excelled with his play during their brief playoff stint. Despite being suspended for a bone head hit from behind, Bennett played pretty well.

Now that he is locked down for the next few years. Bennett will look to continue his success from last season. With Anton Lundell coming over to North America next season, the Panthers centre corps is young and hungry. Aleksander Barkov just won his first Selke, Bennett has found new life, and now Lundell will prove he was looked over during the draft.

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